The Korea Herald


Jin Seon-kyu’s boxing comedy film ‘Count’ tells story of fearless underdogs

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Feb. 14, 2023 - 14:00

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“Count” (CJENM) “Count” (CJENM)

Actor Jin Seon-kyu garnered the spotlight through his supporting roles in “The Outlaws” (2017) and “Extreme Job” (2018) after long years of anonymity. The 45-year-old actor finally made his debut as a leading role actor in the comedy film “Count,” which is in some ways a story about Jin himself.

In “Count,” Jin plays Si-heon, a former boxing Olympic medalist who now teaches students at a high school in Jinhae, North Gyeongsang Province. A stubborn and sometimes annoying physical education teacher, Si-heon decides to start a boxing team after discovering talent in his student Yoon-woo, played by Sung Yoo-bin.

The film is based on the real-life of South Korean boxer Park Si-hun, who won a gold medal in the men’s light middleweight category at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He now coaches a professional boxing team in Jeju.

“Not only I was also born in Jinhae but I also dreamed of becoming a PE teacher before becoming an actor, so this role was just a perfect fit for me,” Jin told reporters during a press conference held in CGV Yongsan I-Park in Seoul, Monday.

He was honest about his feelings, mostly pressure, for having to lead the overall plot as a lead character. It is the first-ever lead role in his 18 years of acting career.

“I still feel so nervous right now. It would be a lie if I say I don’t feel any pressure. Before coming here today, I texted former boxer Park Si-hun that I’m so nervous about showing our film for the first time to the audience,” he said, shedding tears in front of reporters.

Director Kwon Hyuk-jae said he wanted the audience to get the message of a hopeful attitude and impenetrable mind from this movie.

Five students that team up for boxing under PE teacher Si-heon, played by Jin, were known to be troublemakers at school. But they progress and learn to notice what makes them feel alive, boxing, throughout the film.

All action scenes including boxing were played by actors, including Jin who stars as a professional coach, as well as Sung Yoo-bin and Jang Dong-joo who put efforts to become a student champion at a national sports festival.

Jin, who enjoys boxing as a hobby, said he was first introduced to the sport when he was 37 years old, but went through 5 hours of hard training three times a week to master his moves for the role.

And the actors said they felt like they had become a team after wrapping up the film.

“Without Jin, we would not have been able to come where we are. Jin was the only person we could trust during the shooting,” said Sung and Jang.

“Count” opens in local theaters on Feb. 22